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Il Gardellino Baroque ensemble: “We never record in studios»

Baroque-the new rock and roll? You could say that! Let this music is already half a thousand years old — what difference does it make if it still rocks the people at concerts and attracts more and more fans and adherents. Authentic performance — that is, playing old instruments-reaches the Russian province.

In fact, there is nothing surprising in the appeal of the Baroque. It is “sewn up”in us. Rock, prog-rock, folk-rock, art-rock and even pop borrowed from the Baroque melodies and rhythms. In principle, rock and Baroque music largely coincide, so to speak, in intentions and aesthetics: passion, craving for improvisation, live performance, the important role of the text, the sharpness of the utterance, and so on.
With the discovery of authentic performance in the mid-twentieth century, Baroque music began to rise. In the dust of libraries, a whole universe of forgotten manuscripts by very good composers was discovered. This music was considered outdated and naive — but only because it is really not cool to play on “normal” violins and Grand pianos that come from the XIX century. Now in the” party ” of authenticists, something is constantly happening, and there are lively debates about what and how to play — with the transition to personality. Pure rock and roll.People like this lively nerve and lack of prudery. And not only in Moscow, which is always showing off, but even in Yaroslavl, where the annual international music festival was held in may, created by the outstanding violist, Grammy winner, Yuri Bashmet. This year, the Belgian band Il Gardelino (“the Goldfinch” — named after a concert by Antonio Vivaldi) came from the barochniki. The quintet-although it is generally a flexible line — up, and the number of musicians can change for specific tasks-played a conceptual program.

Bach (“Brandenburg Concerto”) and composers who were at that time ranked with the Leipzig genius: Johann Friedrich fash and the Czech Jan Dismas Zelenka. The latter, by the way, is one of these unexpected discoveries of recent times: a wonderful composer originally from Bohemia, who worked in Saxony, who was literally “dug up” in music libraries and is now being studied and played. The concert turned out to be very lively — Yaroslavl residents did not dance in the aisles!And I talked to the founding fathers of the band, flautist Jan de Winn and oboist Marcel Poncel, about the peculiarities of recording Baroque music on modern equipment.
— A simple technical question: how difficult is it to record old instruments, what problems do you have when recording?Marcel: I don’t know what “problems” there can be with old instruments. They have their own timbre, their own “colors”, which I personally have always liked very much. The process of recording these instruments is not very different from more modern ones, however, they are “softer”, more tender.Jan: there are really no Problems, but a normal, suitable recording room is absolutely necessary. Yesterday’s Philharmonic Would have been perfect. I can compare this room with the ancient building of the former Church in Antwerp, where we usually record. The Church is very long, and the sound goes on for a long time, that is, there is no echo, and the recording does not have this feeling of “overacoustics”.— How is the sound of a Baroque ensemble filmed?Jan: Stereo Microphones. In General, 20-30 years ago, it was believed that a Baroque ensemble should be filmed with only one microphone. Then a Swiss engineer, Jean Daniel Noir, proved to everyone that you can write each instrument with a separate microphone, and there is nothing wrong with it. Now even computers are used — they adjust the milliseconds of sound delay. So Baroque instruments and modern technologies are very friendly.Marcel: but we still don’t write each instrument separately, like pop musicians. We play it all together from start to finish, repeating it dozens of times if necessary. Then we mount the best duplicates.
— What is the best Studio for you?Jan: we don’t record in studios at all, just in concert halls and churches.
— Now there is a war between authenticists and academicians, just like between punks and metalheads in my youth. Do you personally see the contradiction in different styles of classical music?Marcel: there are no Contradictions. Baroque music is like speech, it is based on rhetoric. And music in a Baroque work “highlights” phrases and images, makes them more visual. If you understand the system — you know how to portray it correctly. But the same thing works with Schubert, and Brahms, and in General for quite a long time, after the Baroque era! Because it was only in the nineteenth century that the connection between music and words began to disappear, and only then, just in the century before last, did “pure music”begin to appear.This is romanticism: music begins where speech ends, where words can’t say anything. Romantics told about the inner experiences of the hero. For Baroque composers, this simply could not happen, they are about something else. Bach had a difficult life, many of his children died, but nowhere will you hear a note of personal problems and regrets. But at the same time, very strong emotions are transmitted — and they glorify the Church.- Authentic performance is developed in Belgium. You, of course, could not fail to be influenced by your colleagues…Jan: Of course, we have a lot of concerts and festivals in Bruges, so I personally became interested and started playing myself. And to make the tools.Marcel: I wanted to play Bach correctly. Became interested in, study… And “ancient” tools at that time were not really there — I had to learn how to make them.
— In Belgium, there is a whole dynasty of masters — the Keiken brothers.Marcel: We are from the same city! They taught us a lot personally.Jan: Marcel and I were born in the right place — festivals, concerts, masters. In Bruges, there is a favorable environment to become a Baroque musician and play our favorite music. Fate! In another city, things would have been different.
— I’m afraid to even ask what is better to listen to the Baroque! On what media, hardware, and so on.Jan: of course, live — that’s the whole point. I’m not a fan of Hi-Fi equipment myself. For example, I have a friend who is just obsessed with technology — he has the whole house in these Hi-End blocks, cables for 10,000 euros. Well, you know. I think it sounds cold. I told him so honestly.

The most expensive equipment does not transmit the heat of a concert hall, where everything is about emotions. At a concert, the performer conveys emotion to the listener sitting opposite, and the most perfect recording can’t capture it. Although it seems to convey everything: height, timbre, and so on.When I build a phrase, it’s as if I’m talking: here you need to say it softly, here it’s louder. This is a real dialogue with the public, this is how it works.
– Well, maybe vinyl is better for this music?
Jan: well, now we have a fashion for vinyl (laughs).Marcel: vinyl is Back, Yes. But I don’t care — I don’t listen to music that way at all.Yang. I was allowed to use a CD player from the American company McIntosh — this is a very expensive thing, it costs $ 8,000.

— We regularly review the products of this company.
Yang. So, this CD player sounded almost exactly like vinyl, so there is a good DAC. So it’s not about the carrier.Marcel: I listened to a lot of recordings, but I was interested in how they play, with what strokes and so on, but not for the quality of the recording.
— Did you go through a passion for more popular music of the XX century-rock, jazz?Marcel: we once decided to do a project with jazz musicians. With very good, real ones. We played Bach, the jazzmen said, ” Oh, this is fantastic!”Then they played their Bach. We said, ” Oh, this is fantastic, this is different music, very interesting!”But we couldn’t combine them — it was impossible to play together! One, two, three, four – and we are separated, we have different rhythms and accents. We’re just from different worlds, and they’re not compatible.

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